DC9 nightclub allowed to reopen
A District licensing board voted Wednesday to allow the reopening of DC9, the nightclub ordered closed by police after a man died in a controversial incident involving four employees and a co-owner of the bar.
The popular club, in the 1900 block of Ninth Street NW, was shut down by D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier following the Oct. 15 death of Ali Ahmed Mohammed, who was chased by the five men after he threw at least one brick through the club's front window, according to police. They said Mohammed, 27, of Silver Spring, died during a physical encounter with the men on the street.
On Wednesday, the seven-member governing board of the city's Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration voted unanimously to allow the club to reopen Dec. 15 under several conditions, the board's spokeswoman, Cynthia Simms, said. She said the decision will be reviewed at a Jan. 19 hearing.
The five men -- including then-co-owner William Spieler, who has since disassociated himself from the club -- initially were charged with second-degree murder in what Lanier called a "savage" case of "vigilante justice." Authorities later dismissed the charges, however, because the cause and manner of Mohammed's death have yet to be determined by the D.C. medical examiner's office.
Among other conditions of DC9's reopening, the club will not be allowed to employ Spieler of any of the four other men involved in the Oct. 15 incident, Simms said. She said the board's ruling could be reversed or altered Jan. 19 if more information about Mohammed's death becomes available.
Police and the medical examiner's office are continuing to investigate the encounter on the street that night and Mohammed's medical condition and injuries at the time, authorities said. They said they would not be legally barred from refiling criminal charges in the case if new information warranted such a move.
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